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Updated: Mon, 30 Dec 2013 02:35:20 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Passengers rescued from cargo ship in distress off N.L. coast



The joint rescue co-ordination centre in Halifax says a 24-member crew is being rescued from a container ship off the coast of Newfoundland. 20 other crew members remain on the ship and are working to resolve the issue. CBC

The joint rescue co-ordination centre in Halifax says a 24-member crew is being rescued from a container ship off the coast of Newfoundland. 20 other crew members remain on the ship and are working to resolve the issue. CBC

Four non-essential crew members were hoisted into a helicopter and taken to Portugal Cove South, while about 20 others remain on the ship working to resolve the issue.

Four passengers were rescued from a container ship in distress off the coast of Newfoundland, about 60 kilometres south of Portugal Cove South, on Sunday.

Joint rescue co-ordination centre spokesman Maj. Martell Thompson says the ship is now at anchor with a Canadian Coast Guard vessel standing by, but requires no further assistance from the joint rescue co-ordination centre.

Thompson says the centre received a call around 11:30 a.m. local time Sunday that the vessel was having issues with its hull.

Two Cormorant helicopters from Gander, N.L., and a Hercules aircraft from Greenwood, N.S., were dispatched.

The passengers — who were en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey — were hoisted from the MSC Monterey by helicopter.

The two men and two women were taken to an RCMP casualty reception point in Portugal Cove South. No one was injured.

The 20 crew members remained on the ship to resolve the issue.

Thompson says the case has been handed over to Transport Canada.

Transport Canada is monitoring the container ship and working with the captain to ensure the safety of the crew and prevent possible pollution.

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